Museum of Science exhibit halls (Boston MA, 11:51am).
Finally, we’re doing something during this trip that Kid #2 can actually
enjoy! $92 for a family of four. The overly-geeky ticket machine announced
that it would be printing five tickets, but one of them was just a
ticket-shaped receipt. Oddly enough, I can’t find that receipt now, just my
Kid #1 spent much of her time at the museum off with some online friends she had never met before but who live in this area. We were supposed to meet up with them near the giant T. Rex statue, but the statue has been replaced with a less-imposing one that shows a more realistic stance for the animal. Later, I found that the old statue (which Wifey and I remember from when we were kids) had been moved outside to the station where you can take an amphibious bus tour of Boston. Even later, I learned that Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a T. Rex model that has been cleverly designed so you can pose it either way (“15' tall as if surveying the landscape or 12' tall as if lunging for prey”).
I did not speak directly to Kid #1’s friends. The two things they have in common with her are ⑴ nonstandard sexuality and ⑵ fondness for Star Trek. As the friends were preparing to leave the museum, I asked Kid #1 whether she had told them about Star Trek Continues. She had not, so she then launched into a description of the video that her uncle had found, which they thought was interesting. So we were all united by the love of geeky old TV shows!
My kids remember from previous trips the exhibit where you pedal a bicycle to energize a lightbulb — and a skeleton on another bicycle keeps pace with you. That exhibit is gone now. Instead, they now have wristbands where you can try out various health exhibits and then go to their website to see how you did. I did not like that you are forbidden to do the same exhibit more than once on the same wristband, although I can imagine crowd-control reasons why they wanted it to work that way. But the website’s behaviour is less excusable: you have to clear cookies in order to enter a different wristband ID number. You know, there’s such a thing as “trying too hard” to remember something the user once typed in! And there is no reason not to display the ID number that goes with the data you are currently showing. Anyway, to see my results, go to exhibits.mos.org/view-your-data and type in my ID number 01564722.
The 500 kilovolt Tesla coils and the 5 megavolt Van de Graaf generator are still just as sparky and noisy as ever! I am not sure whether they taught the Tesla coils some new songs to sing since last time.
For me, the worst exhibit was the live talk about Love Canal, which contained politically-correct lies designed to make Americans feel better about their country than it deserves. First off, the Superfund was not a “law passed by the EPA” because the EPA does not pass laws. Only Congress can do that, and the Constitution prohibits them from delegating that responsibility although they are constantly trying to. Second, the point of Superfund is not to “make those responsible pay for the cleanup”. Just the opposite, in fact: Superfund is a way of getting these things cleaned up *without* making those responsible pay for it, because otherwise nothing would ever happen except motion practice for lawyers. But the museum didn’t want to tell the kids that (perhaps in fear of losing some of their funding), so a science museum lied to children about the politics behind the science. This sort of thing used to happen all the time in the Soviet Union, and apparently still happens today in North Korea. I remember a time when the USA was better than that.
Museum of Science cafeteria “Wolfgang Puck catering” (3:20pm). $27.55 for crappy museum food. Chef Puck should be ashamed to have his name on this restaurant. I mean, it’s actually pretty good food for a museum cafeteria, and maybe the entrées are well-made on Donors’ Nights, but you can’t turn hamburgers and French fries into gourmet cuisine by slapping some famous chef’s name on your fast-food stand.
Museum of Science gift shop. $7.42 for a “Boston” fridge magnet and also some rocks for Kid #2’s collection.
Museum of Science parking garage (5:23pm). $17.75 for six hours’ rent of a parking space. Not bad for Boston!
Outback Steakhouse (Bellingham MA, 8:55pm). $79.28 for dinner.
Market Basket (Bellingham MA). $50 for a Christmas gift-card for BIL #3 and his family.